Although there were a handful of veterans of Marches for Life going back to the very first in 1973, the most noticeable trait about those who participated in the 50th march on Friday was their youth.
Whether they were teenagers from public or private schools in the Washington, D.C. suburbs or college undergraduates from the massive contingent from Notre Dame University in Indiana, these were inarguably passionate believers in the anti-abortion movement who were clearly emboldened by the Supreme Court's landmark ruling last year overturning Roe v. Wade, which essentially legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.
"I AM THE POST-ROE GENERATION" blared the legend on a sign carried by numerous marchers. One of them who spoke to Newsmax, recent Pacific Union College graduate Redi DeGefa, was making her first March for Life.
"We need to protect the unborn," DeGefa told Newsmax. "Abortion hurts women and children alike."
DeGefa's fellow first-time marcher Peter Fricano, whose wife works for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, helped organize the 400-plus young diocesans who came by bus to join in the annual march. Until this year, the theme of the March for Life was overturning of Roe v. Wade. Now that this has happened, pro-lifers such as Fricano say they are in the march to support states enacting tough laws limiting or even banning abortion.
"I absolutely support the court decision," Fricano told us.
U.S. Navy veteran Phil Dayberry, who lives in Emmitsburg, Maryland, agreed. Conceding that his state has very liberal abortion laws on abortion and that public opinion wants it to stay that way, he said, "This is the way society is now, but we have to work to change it."
Dayberry also said he brought his son with him to the march "to show him what life is all about."
As is almost always the case with every March for Life, the event was widely characterized in the national media as "a Catholic event."
Preston Noell of Park Ridge, Illinois, who has attended every march since 1977, said this year's march was "awfully Catholic" and "when they prayed Catholic hymns, you could hear lots of singing along from the marchers."
But, he quickly added, "There were definitely evangelicals and Orthodox Christians here, and Rev. Franklin Graham gave the group his blessing.”
Subashini Hirschler, a Sri Lanka-born Christian who came from Charlotte, North Carolina, for the march, said she was there "to stand for life and for the Constitution."
Kevin ("I'd prefer you not use my last name"), an Orthodox Christian from Gaithersburg, Maryland, said he was at his second march because "the fight never ends. Even after the Supreme Court sent the issue back to the states, abortion is still a problem."
Still other marchers made it clear they would be in a fight in their respective states to change public opinion and toughen laws on abortion. Conceding that "Virginia abortion law is pretty liberal," Arlington man and evangelical Christian Mark Campbell told us, "It will be a big issue in the next cycle [legislative elections this fall], and we'll be working to change it."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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